Video: Repotting Fiddle Leaf Fig Cuttings with Garden Answer

Follow along as Laura from @Garden Answer takes care of her new fiddle leaf fig cuttings with the help of Espoma!

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Video: Planting Lilies with Garden Answer!

Watch as Laura from @GardenAnswer plants a variety of lilies with the help of Espoma!

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Video: Planting Vegetable with Garden Answer

It’s time to plant some corn, beans, and tomatoes at the @Garden Answer household! Tag along to see how Laura gets her vegetable gardening done with some Espoma products.

 

 

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Video: Creating a Salsa Garden with Garden Answer!

Ready to make some fresh salsa this summer? Join Laura from @GardenAnswer as she plants all the ingredients in a miniature garden using her favorite Espoma products.

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Video: Planting Peppers with Garden Answer!

Laura from @Garden Answer is planting sweet and spicy peppers in her garden! Watch to find out which Espoma products help her get the job done.

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Video: How to Care for Tomatoes with Epic Gardening

Kevin from @Epic Gardening is walking us through how he plans to maintain those tomatoes he recently planted with the help of Espoma. Follow along to hear his top tips!

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Video: Planting 2022 Recipes with Garden Answer

Follow along as Laura from @Garden Answer plants the Proven Winners 2022 Recipes of the Year using tried-and-true Espoma products!

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TLC for Tomatoes

Tomatoes flourish in full sun and warm temperatures.

However, if you’re in short supply of sunny or warm days, havoc can begin taking over your tomatoes. Dreary-looking young tomato plants WILL flourish, once the weather changes, but it’s important to do what you can to make sure they have some extra care and are fed in the meantime.

Give Tomatoes a Lift

If you’re waiting on the weather to improve, the most important thing you can do for your tomato plants is give them some support. Tomato plants often bend, lean or even break as fruit matures. To help your plant from becoming damaged, get to know the tomato you’re planting. Indeterminate plants benefit from some support, while determinate tomatoes may be just fine on their own.

Use tomato cages, wood or metal stakes, or a trellis to give plants extra support. It’s really a matter of preference which one you choose.

The most important thing is that you’re keeping plants off the ground to avoid pests, diseases and rot. Learn more about supporting your tomatoes here.

Add Nutrients

The trick is to feed tomatoes monthly with an organic, nitrogen-heavy fertilizer. Tomatoes have big appetites, so their all-you-can-eat buffet runs out quick. Feed single in-ground plants with 3 tablespoons of Tomato-tone monthly. For rows of plants, spread 1 cup on each side per 5 feet. Feed potted plants 1.5 teaspoons per 4” pot diameter.

Pests got plants down?

When it comes to insects in your garden, don’t be quick to kill. Not all insects are enemies. In fact, most insects are essential players in your organic garden’s success. Others are neutral and don’t cause any harm. Yet some will ruin your harvest.

Spotting the difference between the good and the bad can be tricky, so keep your eyes peeled. Hornworms, fruitworms, aphids and beet armyworms can all spell disaster for your crop. Identify if these bad bugs are the cause of your problems here.

Less is More

Pruning tomatoes is a controversial practice that many expert gardeners say is unnecessary. There are times when pruning can be beneficial — fewer leaves mean air circulates better and leaves dry quicker, reducing the risk of disease.

Plants with less density direct energy toward producing bigger fruit. Plus, tomatoes often ripen earlier after a good pruning, allowing you to enjoy your harvest sooner.

Vertically grown tomatoes are ultimately easier to prune because unnecessary suckers and leaves are more visible. Though pruned plants may be better protected from insects and disease, staked and pruned plants may be more susceptible to blossom end rot and sunscald. Get the scoop on pruning tomato plants here.

tomato-tone, growing tomatoes, organic gardening

Bad Fruit

If a dark, water soaked spot has formed on your tomato you may have blossom-end rot. This problem is likely caused by an imbalance of calcium in the plant. Large spots will dry out and appear to be leathery. Maintain consistent soil moisture throughout the growing season. When the weather is dry, water at least twice a week and moisten the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. Find out more about stopping blossom end rot here.

See how Laura from Garden Answer grows tomatoes upside down!

Products for healthy tomatoes

Tomato-tone

Plant Parents: Moving Plants Outdoors

Houseplants aren’t limited to staying indoors year-round, in fact they love the feeling of sunshine on their leaves and breathing in some fresh air. However, when you take them outdoors, you need to do so appropriately, otherwise they may go into shock.

Acclimating houseplants to outdoor conditions will reduce shock and give them the best chance of thriving. Wait about four weeks from the last frost before you start to acclimate them to the outdoors.

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Tips for Taking Plants Outdoors: Hang in the Shade
While this might seem counter-intuitive, direct sunlight can do more harm than good at first. Since the sunlight is filtered through windows inside, your houseplants aren’t used to the harshness of direct sun. Find shaded areas on your patio or under a tree for a few hours each day. Gradually move houseplants to an area with a little more sunshine daily, until they can be outside all day.  

It will only take a few weeks to adapt to the light and then plants can stay outside until the end of the summer. Once they have adapted to the sunshine, be sure to place them in light they will enjoy. Similar to being indoors, don’t place plants in direct light, if they prefer indirect.

Clip and Snip
Trim away any foliage that might have been damaged from the move or from being inside. Remove any brown tips and inspect them for signs of pests or diseases.

Photo courtesy of Garden Answer

Top it Off:

Revitalize soil by working in fresh Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix to each container. This will help to hold moisture and nutrients around plants’ roots.

Give Them a Drink
Power up plants by giving them a big drink of water enhanced with nutrients. Make it easy on yourself and use Espoma’s Grow! Liquid plant food.

Dump the water
Get in the habit of dumping the excess water after watering to avoid mosquitos and other unwanted pests..

Learn more about houseplant care with Garden Answer.

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Grow! Plant Food

G


Fresh off the Vine – Harvesting Tomatoes and Recipes

Harvest is upon us! Those big juicy tomatoes are taunting you on the vine, waiting for you to enjoy!

Garden tomatoes are jam packed with flavor compared to grocery store tomatoes. Make sure to pick them when they are just right to enjoy with your favorite tomato recipes. These harvesting tips will ensure you get a flavorful tomato every time.

Harvesting

Harvesting tomatoes isn’t complicated; it’s just all about timing!

Leave your tomatoes on the vine as long as possible. Wait until your tomatoes have completely changed color. If it is red (or yellow) on one side and green on the other, your tomato isn’t ready yet. It needs to have an even color all around it. If your tomatoes have started changing color and are starting to crack, bring them inside and place them in a paper bag to finish ripening.

Trust your gut. If you think the tomato is ready for harvest, pick it! You can also do the squeeze test. Gently squeeze your tomatoes,  tomatoes ready for harvest will be firm, but not too hard.

Recipes

After you’ve harvested your tomatoes, try one of our favorite recipes!

  1. Tomato Salad with Edamame Succotash: This Midwest delight has a variety of vegetables you can find in the garden. Make this nutritious meal and pair it with some delicious bread!
  2. Tomato-Phyllo Tart: Take your tomatoes to another level when making this delicious recipe. Use your own garden fresh herbs to keep it close to home.
  3. Eggs in Purgatory: This one may sound a little dark, but take it from us, it is delicious! It does say cherry tomatoes, but any tomatoes will do.
  4. Corn Soup with Tomato Bacon Toast: Try a twist on the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup with this recipe.
  5. Cheesy Stuff Tomatoes: Whip up some stuffed tomatoes in a jiff. This simple, yet yummy, recipe is perfect for a late night meal.

If you want more delicious tomato recipes, check out our Top Tomato Recipes! And be sure to download our Tomato Guide to answer all of your tomato growing questions.